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Interesting indie-rock
from down under

Dappled Cities - Granddance
(Dangerbird Records)
3 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Aug. 1, 2007
Dappled Cities

Review by Tony Bonyata

On Dappled Cities' second full-length album, Granddance (actually their first under this moniker, as their 2004 A Smile debut was released under their former full name of Dappled Cities Fly), the Aussie quartet serve up an interesting mix of indie pop-rock that's heavy on melody and peppered with art school know-how.

Mixing falsetto vocals with a droll Morrissey-like delivery over challenging guitar-driven compositions like the splendorous "Vision Bell" and the thespian-graced opening track "Holy Chord" instantly sets this band apart from a hundred other faceless indie bands today. While significant time changes and quirky arrangements abound throughout the eleven tracks here, the album is also brimming with lush harmonies ("Granddance") and enough catchy melodies (the indelible "Fire Fire Fire" and "The Eve The Girl") to please both indie rock snobs and young popsters alike.

While comparisons to acts such Flaming Lips, The Shins and Modest Mouse occasionally rear their head when mention is made of Dappled Cities in print, it should be noted that while they share some similar traits of working a good dose of experimentation into their music, their sound is quite uniquely their own. In fact, what may appear a bit put-offish on first listen soon turns warm and inviting upon further spins, as you'll find it quite easy to carelessly float away on the ethereal, atmospheric pop of "Work It Out" and "Beach Song, the latter where the vocals pleasantly drone over a rubbery bass-line as if Kraftwerk's Ralf Hutter were fronting the band.

While they're not about to turn the indie world upside down - at least not quite yet - Dappled Cities show enough promise on their sophomore effort to at least prick a few discerning ears up.

Watch Dappled Cities' - "Vision Bell" video

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